Jussie Smollett’s case is finally at a close.
In December, former Empire actor Jussie Smollett was found guilty on five counts of felony disorderly conduct for making false reports about a fake anti-gay/Black crime.
In the latest update, Smollett was sentenced to 150 days in jail, 30 months of probation and ordered to pay restitution of more than $120,000 and a $25,000 fine today (March 10). Smollett will begin his sentence immediately.
As reported on CNN, “after the judge announced his sentence, Smollett lowered his face mask and said he was innocent. ‘Your honor, I respect you and I respect the jury, but I did not do this,’ the actor told the judge before turning to the court. “And I am not suicidal. And if anything happens to me when I go in there, I did not do it to myself. And you must all know that.” Before he was taken into custody, the actor yelled again that he was innocent and raised a fist in the air.
In January 2019, the 39-year-old actor Smollett, who is Black and gay, told Chicago police that two unknown men attacked him, yelled racist and homophobic slurs at him, poured bleach on him, and wrapped a noose around his neck.
Initially, people in the industry, politics and fans believed Jussie. As the story unfolded, authorities determined Jussie orchestrated the attack and paid two brothers he knew from Empire to stage the incident for publicity.
In March 2019, Smollett was indicted on 16 counts of felony disorderly conduct. Then, Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx’s office dropped all charges weeks later, saying he did community service, would not get his $10,000 bond back, was no danger to the community, and had no prior felonies, CNN points out.
The decision set off a debate on if he received special treatment. As a result, in 2020, a second grand jury indicted Smollett on six felony charges. This same year, his character on Empire was written off.